Days after the death of her mother, a baby giraffe passes away at the Texas Zoo


The Cameron Park Zoo released a statement about the giraffe calf’s death, saying, “The staff is deeply saddened by the loss of Zuri.”


Two of the giraffes in the Waco, Texas, Cameron Park Zoo are dearly missed. 🙁

A Facebook message from the Cameron Park Zoo over the weekend informed fans that Zuri, a Masai giraffe calf, passed away early on Saturday.

The devastating news was released four days after the death of Penelope, the mother of the giraffe. Penelope unexpectedly became unwell and passed away on July 19, according to the Texas zoo’s Facebook page.

Cameron Park Zoo/Facebook

“The adult female Masai giraffe at Cameron Park Zoo, Penelope, passed away. The announcement is made with deep sadness.” Unfortunately, Penelope died away early this morning after receiving medical attention from the Zoo’s veterinarian and crew late yesterday night. The zoo posted the news on Facebook.

According to a Facebook post regarding Zuri’s passing on the Cameron Park Zoo, when Penelope passed away, carers “transitioned [Zuri] to a milk formula along with having her connect with the other female giraffe, Jenny, a reticulated giraffe.” Sadly, despite the zoo’s best efforts to console and tend to Zuri when her mother passed away, she passed away.
The Cameron Park Zoo announced on social media that each giraffe had a “necropsy (animal autopsy)” to ascertain the reason of death. “It will take several weeks to receive the results,” the zoo posted on Facebook.

“The death of Zuri has left the workers of Cameron Park Zoo very heartbroken. “They value the community’s ongoing support during this trying time,” the institution said on social media after announcing the death of the newborn animal.

The Waco Tribune-Herald reports that the Texas zoo purchased Penelope from the San Diego Zoo. She was loved by everyone in the village, including Zuri, and was ten years old when she passed away.
KCEN-TV, an NBC News affiliate in Temple, Texas, revealed that Zuri was born on June 23 and died at the age of less than one month. In anticipation of Zuri’s birth, the zoo recently hosted a baby naming competition on Facebook, according to the site.

Since Masai giraffes are the biggest giraffe species and are located in Central and Southern Kenya as well as Tanzania, it was simple for giraffes like Zuri and Penelope to stand out in the zoo. Their unique and erratic star-shaped patches that reach their hooves are another intriguing characteristic of the species.

Regrettably, Masai giraffes are now considered endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to habitat fragmentation and poaching.

A three-month-old calf named Marekani, a 19-year-old giraffe named Auggie, who passed away from “age-related health issues that led to liver failure,” and a 14-year-old giraffe named Jesse marked the unprecedented loss for the Dallas Zoo in October 2021.